Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 52 (2009)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 52nd session

Bolivia

(16 October 2009, CRC/C/BOL/CO/4, Concluding observations on fourth report, paras. 6, 7, 8, 40, 41 and 42)

"The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to address those recommendations from the concluding observations on the third periodic report (CRC/C/15/Add.256) that have not yet been implemented or sufficiently implemented, notably those related to … corporal punishment…. 

"The Committee welcomes the new Constitution which includes a section on child rights. However, it regrets that national legislation is not in conformity with the Convention in certain areas, for instance the Child Code (Codigo del Niño, Niña y Adolescente) and civil and penal laws concerning the prohibition of corporal punishment…. The Committee also notes difficulties with the dual legal system and certain incompatibilities between positive law and the indigenous customary law. 

"The Committee recommends that the steps taken towards legislative reforms should be part of a comprehensive analysis of the legislative system in order to ensure that both positive law and indigenous customary law meet the obligations under the Convention, in particular regarding … corporal punishment…. The Committee also recommends that a clear division of the different competencies be established between the judicial bodies and the indigenous local authorities in civil, criminal and administrative matters, and that the State party promote awareness of legislation, in particular among communities which continue to apply customary laws. 

"While welcoming that the new Constitution of 2009 prohibits all violence against children, both in the family and society, the Committee is concerned that corporal punishment remains lawful in the home and in residential or institutional care settings, and that there is no explicit prohibition of this form of ‘discipline’ in all settings. 

"The Committee recommends that the State party expressly prohibit corporal punishment by law in all settings, taking into account the Committee’s general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment. The Committee further recommends that the State party carry out public education campaigns, including through media, about the negative consequences of corporal punishment of children, and promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline. 

"With reference to the United Nations Study on violence against children (A/61/299), the Committee recommends that the State party: 

a) take all necessary measures for the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the independent expert for the United Nations study on violence against children while taking into account the outcome and recommendations of the regional consultation for Latin America held in Buenos Aires between 30 May and 1 June 2005. In particular, the Committee recommends that the State party pay particular attention to the following recommendations: 

(i) prohibit all violence against children, including corporal punishment in all places…."

Mozambique

(4 November 2009, CRC/C/MOZ/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 8, 47, 48 and 75)

"The Committee refers the State party to its general comment No. 5 (2003) on general measures of implementation for the Convention on the Rights of the Child and recommends that it take all necessary measures to address the recommendations from the concluding observations of the initial report that have not yet been implemented or sufficiently implemented, including those related to the allocation of resources, children with disabilities, children living on the street, child labour, corporal punishment, and child abuse and neglect…. 

"The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment remains lawful in the home and schools and is often considered the only way to discipline children. The Committee is also concerned that the Child Rights Protection Law does not explicitly prohibit corporal punishment at home and in schools. The Committee is further concerned that in spite of internal regulations of the Ministry of Education prohibiting corporal punishment, it continues to be inflicted on children by teachers and parents throughout the State party. 

"Recalling its previous recommendation (CRC/C/15/Add.172, para. 39 (b)), the Committee draws the attention of the State party to its general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment, according to which eliminating violent and humiliating punishment of children is an immediate and unqualified obligation of States parties. The Committee therefore urges the State party:

a) to explicitly prohibit by law corporal punishment in the family, schools and institutions and ensure that those laws are effectively implemented and that legal proceedings are systematically initiated against those responsible for mistreating children;

b) to conduct a comprehensive study to assess the causes, nature and extent of corporal punishment throughout the State party; and 

c) to introduce public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization campaigns on the harmful effects of corporal punishment with a view to changing the general attitude towards this practice and promoting positive, non-violent, participatory values and forms of child-rearing and education.

"The Committee notes with satisfaction the creation of the National Refugee Support Institute by Decree No. 51/2003 of 24 December 2003 with the aim, notably, of ensuring the enjoyment by refugee children of their rights to education, health care, social security and protection, as well as the establishment within the Marratane refugee centre of a primary school and a health centre. The Committee is, however, concerned at the high level of ethnic tension and violence among children in the camp and in the school, where corporal punishment is inflicted by teachers on children…."

Pakistan

(15 October 2009, CRC/C/PAK/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 47, 48, 80 and 81)

"The Committee welcomes the State party’s commitment to eradicate corporal punishment in all settings, as demonstrated by the incorporation of the prohibition of corporal punishment in the National Plan of Action for Children and directives issued in all provinces. The Committee is, however, deeply concerned that corporal punishment is currently lawful under section 89 of the Penal Code of 1860 and extensively used as a disciplinary measure in homes, schools, and alternative care settings and that it is still used in the penal system despite its prohibition through the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance (JJSO). 

"The Committee recommends that the State party, as a matter of urgency:

a) repeal section 89 of the Penal Code of 1860 and explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in all settings; 

b) set up an effective monitoring system in order to ensure that abuse of power by teachers or other professionals working with and for children does not take place in schools and other institutions; and

c) introduce public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization campaigns on harmful effects of corporal punishment with a view to changing general attitudes towards this practice and promote positive, non-violent, participatory forms of child-rearing and education.

"The Committee ... is deeply concerned at reports of violence, ill-treatment, corporal punishment, sexual abuse and illegal detention within madrasas and of madrasas being used for military training, as well as instances of recruitment of children to participate in the armed conflict and terrorist activities.

"The Committee recommends that the State party: ...

c) ensure the protection of children from maltreatment within madrasas through the establishment of an adequate monitoring mechanism; ...

e) take into account the Committee’s general comment No. 1 (2001) on the aims of education."

Philippines

(22 October 2009, CRC/C/PHL/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 10, 11, 12, 42 and 43)

"The Committee urges the State party to make every effort to address the previous recommendations that have been partly, insufficiently or not implemented at all, including those relating to the minimum age of sexual consent, discrimination against children born out of wedlock, child pornography, the prohibition of torture and the prohibition of corporal punishment and other forms of violence in the home, schools, in public and private institutions and in the alternative care system....

"While noting a number of legislative initiatives in the State party, the Committee remains concerned at the lack of legislation with regard to the prohibition of corporal punishment.... 

"The Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to ensure the full and effective implementation of its domestic laws in order to better protect the rights of the child and to harmonize its legislation fully with the provisions and principles of the Convention, including through the expeditious adoption of the Anti-Corporal Punishment Act (Bill No. 682)...

"While noting that the Anti-Corporal Punishment Bill which prohibits corporal punishment in all settings is currently under discussion, the Committee reiterates its concern that corporal punishment in the home is not explicitly prohibited by law and that a provision on corporal punishment is not included in the Child and Youth Welfare Code. The Committee also expresses its concern at the prevalence of corporal punishment against children in society, in particular in the home and regrets that no comprehensive study on this issue has been undertaken, as recommended by the Committee in its previous concluding observations (CRC/C/15/Add.25, para. 42). 

"The Committee urges the State party to: 

a) enact the Anti-Corporal Punishment Bill to explicitly prohibit by law corporal punishment in all settings, including in the home, schools, alternative childcare, places of work and places of detention; 

b) intensify its awareness-raising campaign to sensitize and educate parents and families, guardians and professionals working with and for children on the harmful effect of such practices, promote the use of alternative and non-violent forms of discipline in a manner consistent with the child’s dignity and in accordance with the Convention, especially article 28, paragraph 2; 

c) undertake a comprehensive study on the nature and extent of corporal punishment in different settings; and 

d) take due account of the Committee’s General Comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment."

Qatar

(14 October 2009, CRC/C/QAT/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 39 and 40)

"While noting that measures are being taken to address corporal punishment in the context of disciplinary measures in schools and in the penal system, the Committee expresses concern that corporal punishment of children is still lawful in the family and alternative care settings.

"The Committee urges the State party:

a) to critically review its current legislation with a view to prevent and end the use of corporal punishment of children as a method of discipline and to introduce explicit legislation prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment of children in all settings, including in the family, schools, penal system and alternative care settings;

b) to introduce public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization campaigns on alternative non-violent forms of discipline with the involvement of children in order to change public attitudes to corporal punishment; 

c) to take into account while drafting legislation and designing policies the Committee’s general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment."

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